Monday, 27 April 2009

Slept well until the rain woke me up at 5a.m. It was still raining at 7a.m., only harder - if I stay at a hostel on the edge of Dartmoor I shouldn't be too surprised. I also need to confess I stole some Rice Krispies - they were in a ice-cream tub with a girl's name on it near the 'spare food' pile. It was only when the Warden said a lady was booked in for 4 nights that the penny dropped - if you are the Warden (or the lady with only 3 breakfasts) reading this, SORRY.

Having brought 20kg of kit I am determined to use it. Yesterday I tucked my 'waterproof' overtrousers into my 'wet suit' cycling over-shoes, to stop them catching the chain. The problem was that all the trouser run-off went straight into my shoes, today I sealed the trousers with Duck Tape - it worked a treat and for the next 3 hours the heavy rain was not channelled into my shoes. Result.

Turning off the old A30 I headed for Crediton, you could tell it was Devon as the rivers down the side of the road were red.

I avoided the long and pointless climb to Crediton but decided to play with my useless back brake at the station - what a superb surprise to find a real old-fashioned buffet - time for coffee and a bacon sandwich.

When I reappeared the rain had stopped and it was sunny, I donned shorts CORD T-shirt and customised hi-vis vest and headed off. Tiverton came and went and I joined the Grand Western Canal and flew along, missing a turn-off so making a very tedious 1 mile in the wrong direction (see the accompanying plot), it was only the headwind (still a westerly) that alerted me to my mistake.

With my back brake still not really working I Googled 'bike shops Taunton' to find the Bicycle Chain in Chip Lane had the necessary part, only 16 miles away. Off I pedalled.

In it's heyday this striking canal reached Taunton but today it ends at a tunnel, my GPS (co-pilot) was a giveaway as there was a VERY large hill ahead. At least the sun was still out and newly drenched Devon countryside was stunning.


Sneeked into Someset on a road with no sign, must get a photo on the way out.

Phone battery ran out, hence the jump in the track, texted Logistical Support (wonderful Chris) to send spare MP3 player to Bristol, so I can load music on that and solely use phone for photos, txts, track uploads and internet - how did Shackelton manage?

At Nynehead some locals had been exeedingly busy digging a huge vertical sided cutting through the Old Red Sandstone.

Bicycle Chain had the parts and I used 2 more items from my 20kg of luggage (leatherman and alum keys).

The Bridewater and Taunton Canal did what it said on the tin and in the afternoon sunshine I chased my lengthening shadow whilst trains to Penzance raced past.

The Admiral's Rest (not sure which one) B&B was well equiped for cyclists, I washed off the Trek and gave it a liberal lubrication before I did likewise in a bath and the pub. Funny town Bridgewater but has all the essentials I need. I'm sure the two old guys on my right are Archers extras - background noise in the Bull.

So another day over, in total 21.4, 43.2, 63.4, 66.4 and a whopping 80.6 today, so that makes it 274 miles so far, not bad really.

21.50, off to bed..

Oh by the way I have over 40 regular followers, including Finland and South Africa - you know who you are...

Daily Stats
80.6 miles, 7:17 moving, max speed 27.7 mph, avg speed 11.9 mph, height climbed 5,715 ft

1 comment:

  1. Great riding, and great writing, Richard! I'm sharing your joke about Shackleton with Wendy in the CORD office here. Both very impressed with how much ground you've already covered. All the very best for today, and hope the weather's kind to you; it's grey and overcast but dry at 1 New Street, Leamington Spa.

    Kit Lawry, CORD